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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

moved by their hatreds rather than their loves—how
much they really hate Germany rather than love England,
or envy the capitalist more than they actually care fqr
the poor. It must be stressed therefore that the
precept "Love your neighbour" carries particular
ethical implications, which are absent from many of the
maxims that run as commonplaces in the world at large.
The pith and marrow of the injunction are in its con-
creteness and its immediacy—its avoidance of the
abstract noun.

' So love of one's neighbour means a living love of
actual men—not love of man in the abstract merely, or
even of mankind as a collective noun; and not love of
the mere shadows of generations yet unborn. And our
neighbour is any man as he actually comes into our
orbit, however indirect the relationship that is estab-
lished with him, and however momentary the contact.
All men are our neighbours, in fact, as soon as they come
within the range of our thinking in any way. A pious
friend of mine continually tells me that we are bidden to
love our neighbour but not necessarily to like him; and.
I do not feel competent to answer this point. It remains
true that Christ declared: " But I say unto you, love
your enemies"—you are no better than the Gentiles
if you only love those who love you. If the Christian
precept involves much more it cannot mean any less
than giving to human beings all that passion which
some men give to abstract nouns and impersonal causes
—it is the thing which used very properly to be called
" seal for souls". It is a passion for men as ends in
themselves; and indeed love too must be regarded as

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